On Friday, as I quickly scrolled down my Facebook wall—ducking and dodging through the yips of automatic videos starting up—I began to pick up on a pooled topic of discussion.
“In honour of sibling day… Happy sibling day! I love my siblings…” whispered my Internet friends from the ether.
And so, for fear of drowning in anti-social practices, I figured I’d jump on the boat and write my own Sibling Day tribute in a post about the value of inviting a relative to your new/old homeland! Are you bored with your surroundings? Invite someone with fresh eyes to spend their holiday with you! It’s amazing how they put the glitter back into the kingdom.
I know I’m a bit late, but I was busy saying goodbye to my adorable little sister who’s headed back to Canada after an awesome two week visit! I needed to fill up on sibling hugs!
That’s what Sibling Day is about after all—honoring and celebrating your siblings.
I know about Mothers and Fathers Day, but Sibling Day Really?
The founder and director of the American holiday (yeah apparently holidays are like enterprises) Claudia Evart wanted to use the day to ensure the bond between brother and sister is forever recognized as a special gift. She lost her two siblings in separate accidents early in her life.
“Like many, I have these pictures of my brother and sister, who are both gone, but remain with me daily, not just in these pictures, but in my daily thoughts and in my heart,” she’s quoted as saying on her bio.
The day has yet to gain federal recognition like Mother and Fathers Day, but 39 states officially recognize it.
India has a similar celebration called Raksha Bandhan, which is celebrated in August.
Better watch what bracelets you buy around the day! You might accidently buy one meant to be tied around a brother’s wrist. Although in some places the ritual is used to acknowledge close friends too.
Beauty of the bond: 7 points
So, you have an extra £500 and a choice. Buy a plane ticket to a far exotic land or fly your little sister or brother to the country you’re currently based in.
Here’s why you might want to ignore your wanderlust just this once.
1: The convenience. You might be new to your latest job, homesick but can’t spare the time to go home or have a partner whom you can’t afford to bring along. With a brother or sister at your home you can work, travel and make them cook you dinner.
2: The love refill. I feel like nothing quite says, “I love you and miss you” like a transcontinental plane ticket. If you’re hoping to reinforce your relationship after a few years abroad this is a perfect opportunity. There’s no reason today why distance should cut your bond.
You can collect as many hometown hugs as possible and send some more home again.
Plus, I mean, you have blackmail for getting a return visit later.
3: The infection injection. I’ll admit I may have been grooming my sister to become a future travel buddy. I wanted to inject her with the travel bug. Inspire her.
I remember travelling to Germany with my brother at 16 (the same age as my sister is now). It was our first trip abroad alone. Sure we were going to visit relative in Germany, but the journey was ours alone. Sure there was times where I/we were scared shitless, but it was worth it and I often attribute the trip’s lessons to forming my confidence abroad today.
4: The relaxation. If you are looking for a holiday this’ll do the trick if you get along with your sibling. Imagine, you bike or hike somewhere isolated. How likely are you to pack your comfy, but sloppy clothes over your dress-to-impress outfits? Heck you could have the worst body-odor, but it’s only your sibling who will suffer right? Sibling bonds are stronger than body-odor!
And you’re hopefully outdoors.
5: A refreshing perspective. I learned a lot about Cambridge, Ely and London that I hadn’t known before and I live in one of these places! I saw the cherry blossoms,
I didn’t think I’d be interested in the National Horse Museum in Newmarket, but it was mesmerizingly in-depth and fresh. After admiring dozens of cathedrals and thousands of Virgin Mary and Christ paintings, learning about jockeys and racecourses was a breathe of fresh air.
You’re also given a shot of pride for your new home.
Cambridge can be pompous and straitlaced compared to what I’m used to, but nothing felt better than taking the best parts of it and displaying them to my sister. We shot down alleys, munched on the best cake in town, participated with buskers and went solo punting like true locals.
Before I knew it I was thinking, “yep, this is my city”.
6: The energy zap. Sibling rivalry will have you trying things you never thought you’d work up the guts or energy to do.
Yeah I’m the older sister; I’ll wobble precariously on the boat’s tail end and try to push the punting boat along. I’ll climb to the very tip-top of the Ely Cathedral (an act I hadn’t been willing to pay for when my partner and I biked there last time). I’ll visit the local Fitzwilliam Museum three times to ensure we saw everything. I’ll walk the 14km between Folkstone and Dover. I’ll wake up at 3:30 am for a trip to Germany.
7: The resources. Is your sister or brother coming from where you stashed all your previous life’s stuff? Are you missing some home cooking? Visiting relatives are great for restocking your favourite homeland products.
P.s. Expect a ton of posts on Dover, Ely, London, Cambridge, Potsdam and Berlin! We’ll be playing a game of “spot the sister” in one future post too. Where’s Sis meets Where’s Waldo yeah?